Following explosive allegations last week that controversial cigarette manufacturer, Adriano Mazzotti, was contributing to ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign, new information has emerged to back-up the claims based on journalist Jacques Pauw’s new book – The President’s Keepers.
The Sundays Times reports that, it has proof indicating that Mazzotti and his business associates met more than once with Dlamini-Zuma contrary to his claims.
Last week Mazzotti said he had only met the presidential hopeful only once. However, Instagram photos prove at least two meetings, while a third shows an associate of the “dodgy tycoon” embracing Dlamini-Zuma, the picture was apparently taken in Greece.
The others show Mazzotti and Dlamini-Zuma in London and in Sandton, according to the report.
Under one of the photos, gambling tycoon Philip Anastassopoulos exclaims: “Another nice day with mama Zuma.”
The photos and new information could also possibly suggest a much closer relationship between Dlamini-Zuma and Mazzotti.
In a bid to raise funds for the presidential hopeful, Mazzotti and gambling tycoons Philip and Photios Anastassopoulos allegedly took Dlamini-Zuma to the UK and Greece earlier this year.
Taking to his Instagram account on March 25, Photios posted a picture of himself, Mazzotti and Dlamini-Zuma claiming that he “had a good week with mama Zuma and Adriano in London”.
Sources also told the Sunday Times that Mazzotti and the Anastassopoulos brothers had been funding Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign bid to replace President Jacob Zuma when he steps down as the governing party’s leader in December.
On source claimed: “Dlamini-Zuma has been having secret meetings with these guys twice per month behind her campaign team’s back because she knows they won’t be comfortable working with these controversial figures.”
“Mazzotti and Photios have been sharing their private photos from these meetings with Dlamini-Zuma with their business associates while lobbying them to chip in some money for her campaign,” another source said.
Last week, the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) issued a statement saying the Sunday Times should “keep its hands off” Dlamini-Zuma as she had nothing to hide.
“Her discipline and dedication to radical economic transformation has, therefore, attracted millions of well-wishers who have volunteered their time, resources and energy to making sure that she becomes victorious in December,” ANCWL said at the time.
“Consequently, Dlamini-Zuma has limited knowledge on all the contributors to the campaign, which are coordinated by the ANCWL with the support of the ANC Military Veterans and the ANC Youth League as well as the structures of the African National Congress. Our efforts are people oriented. Our campaign is, therefore, a people’s campaign.”
The ANC Youth League said the continuous mud-slinging against Dlamini Zuma showed that some media houses were hell-bent to smear the reputation of ANC leaders.